Managing Change Category
Jane Northcote is a management consultant who sets out to describe how to make change happen, or as she puts it “accelerate action”. This is unlike any other book I have read on change. For starters it is not based on any “model” of change. Nor does it include any management speak. Additionally, much of the book focuses not on planning and getting ready for the change, but getting into action, i.e. Making Change Happen.Read More
“Buy-in” by John P. Kotter and Lorne A. Whitehead, is a much needed resource. Originally a financial term, getting people’s buy-in is today taken to mean “getting someone’s commitment” to a new idea or proposal. Getting others to commit to a new idea, whether it be family, friends or in business, is an essential skill-set that everyone should have. It’s surprising that this topic has not been covered before.
Reframing Change has one of the longest sub titles I have seen. Yet, it is quite appropriate. For once, a book does what it says on the cover.
This is a great book about change. For those who have read many change books, the majority are developed around a model or framework where the emphasis is on changing the other party. Latting and Ramsey start from the precept that any change must first start with oneself and the need to look inwardly to better identify things that may affect one’s influence of others.
To describe the purpose of the book, the authors use the case of Matt who seems to have a difficult situation with his boss. In doing so, they start the modelling process of their key message – first we need to look for change within ourselves before looking for change in others. Latting and Ramsey state their purpose as “to help you to learn how to use yourself more fully and to make more intentional choices about how to draw on all your resources – thoughts, emotions and behaviours.” The book does what it says.
There are two main things worthy of note about Reframing Change. Firstly, the content (how to bring about change) and secondly the process of learning, the authors use throughout the book.
The content suggests some ideas that may be new to many readers. For example, “being in the answer” versus “having an answer”. The former suggests that no matter what the other person says, your own explanation is the only explanation. Whereas “having an answer” suggests that your thinking is open to other possible answers as well. Or the distinction between feelings and emotions. The authors site research that shows that we all have automatic physiological reactions, i.e. emotions as a result of an experience. Our feelings on the other hand, are how we consciously respond to our emotions and so, can be managed. I also liked some of the practical tips the authors use to manage our feelings, such as saying “I feel furious” rather than “I am furious”.
The learning process used in the book is immediately engaging. Each chapter is based on vignettes of discussion between one of the authors and a client or student. Some, such as “Matt’s case” are carried on through other chapters to give a total picture of how a person learns the process of introspection to better facilitate change or influence others. These are easy to understand and follow, and provide an immediate application of the concept being covered.
There’s also a novel way of enhancing the reader’s knowledge about the relevant research. In addition to the standard referencing, whenever the authors draw on research there is an insert titled; “Curious about the research?” The insert generally has a one paragraph overview of the research and a reference as to where it can be found.
The book is well written, well structured and the content will provide even the experienced student of change with more valuable information and tools to use. Highly recommended for anyone who needs to work collaboratively with others – and isn’t that all of us?
In Managing Transitions, William Bridges sets out to help managers and others who want to introduce change – be it a total organisational restructure or simply trying to get people to do things differently.
In “Disregarded”, Jack Bender sets out to chronicle his journey through a change process – both a personal change process and an organisational change process. The setting is a US public school and the catalyst for Bender’s journey is a change in the legislature aimed at giving teachers a greater say in how schools are run. Many writers set out to “teach” or “instruct” us in the wisdom they have acquired. Bender does not.
The basic concept of “Good to Great” is that there appear to be companies that outperform others quite spectacularly for a number of years. Jim Collins sets out the results of his research team that looked at “why?”.
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